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Dallas Dining Suggestions


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#31 Chris Amirault

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 01:00 PM

Bumping this up in anticipation of a trip to Dallas in early November. I'm eager to try places that a conventioneer can reach without a car (I'll take public transit if need be and it exists) and that typify Dallas food for a New Englander: Tex-Mex, brisket, links, whatever you think. Low- to midrange prices -- and I'll eat anything. Thanks.
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#32 jsmeeker

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 02:36 PM

Bumping this up in anticipation of a trip to Dallas in early November. I'm eager to try places that a conventioneer can reach without a car (I'll take public transit if need be and it exists) and that typify Dallas food for a New Englander: Tex-Mex, brisket, links, whatever you think. Low- to midrange prices -- and I'll eat anything. Thanks.

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Without a car? HA!! Good luck..


Seriously, though.. What part of town will you be in? You say you are a coventioneer. Does that mean the big convention center in downtown?

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#33 Chris Amirault

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 06:12 PM

Yup: Dallas Convention Center located at 650 S. Griffin St. Dallas, Texas 75202.
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#34 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:02 PM

No car, no food, Chris. Public transportation is limiting unless you consider a taxi to be public. But we will not let you starve.

My take on this is that there are better than good, but not great places for Texas barbecue here, and many sub-good ones. The closest to down town probably is in the SMU area. My suggestion would be to focus on Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex and Mexican, as well as some from other Central and South American cuisines. We have a lot of that and a lot that is excellent in the low to mid-price range...as well as a few in the upper. Mexican, Salvadoran, Columbian, Peruvian, Venezuelan.

How many days, what days of the week, and how many meals away from the hotel? Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner?

#35 ulterior epicure

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:45 AM

I'm bumping this thread. I will have three nights and three days in Dallas/Ft. Worth with car.

What are the hot (and, more importantly, GOOD) places in Dallas?
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#36 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:56 AM

Dallas and ft. Worth have many, many options. If you can fill us in on what types of restaurants and food you are interested in and a price range, we will be able to be of more help. We have everything from inexpensive taquerias and Tex-Mex to $200 plus per person fine and adventuresome dining. Asian? SE Asian? Indian? Middle Eastern? French? Spanish? Central, South American? Mexican fine dining? Tasting menus? Looking for breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions?

#37 ulterior epicure

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:02 PM

Dallas and ft. Worth have many, many options. If you can fill us in on what types of restaurants and food you are interested in and a price range, we will be able to be of more help. We have everything from inexpensive taquerias and Tex-Mex to $200 plus per person fine and adventuresome dining. Asian? SE Asian? Indian? Middle Eastern? French? Spanish? Central, South American? Mexican fine dining? Tasting menus? Looking for breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions?

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Context: meeting up with a good friend. Her level of adventure is much less than mine. That being said, my friend will go along with almost anything.

I am open to any cuisine, although I'd rather stick to those restaurants that are "particularly DFW" (i.e. I'm less likely to go to the outpost of Craft or Nobu, unless you all think they are truly superior to anything else in Dallas).

Has anyone heard of La Duni? My friend has suggested that as a brunch on Sunday.
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#38 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:21 PM

Sunday brunch at La Duni is a great suggestion. I doubt you would ever regret it.

#39 ulterior epicure

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 01:05 PM

Sunday brunch at La Duni is a great suggestion. I doubt you would ever regret it.

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Okay, let me throw out some options and see if you think they should be axed:

Fearing's
Shinsei
Abacus
Stephen Pyle
Craft
Nobu
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#40 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:16 PM

Sunday brunch at La Duni is a great suggestion. I doubt you would ever regret it.

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Okay, let me throw out some options and see if you think they should be axed:

Fearing's
Shinsei
Abacus
Stephen Pyle
Craft
Nobu

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Nothing there that I would axe, but would emphasize some of the local talent: Abacus, Stephen Pyle's and Fearing's. Also consider the Tasting Room at Lola's; if you search this forum there should be quite a bit from the past on the Tasting Room - make reservations early or risk not getting a table.

#41 ulterior epicure

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 05:32 PM

I've been told that Aurora and Lanny's (Ft. Worth) are both excellent as well.
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#42 jsmeeker

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 08:56 PM

La Duni is fantastic. Save room for cake. (really, save room for cake). I've only been to the location on McKinney off of Henderson.

If you want to make the trek to Ft. Worth, Lanny's Alta Cocina Mexicana should be worth it. Aurora is supposed to be fantastic. And has the distinction of being the most expensive place in town, supposedly.

Lately, I have been getting lots of emails from the Adolphus hotel with lots of talk about stuff going on at the French Room. I've been there once, a few years ago, and it was really nice. It's a FORMAL place, but I guess there is a new chef there and they want it to be known for a place you can go to to get great food without it being a really special occasion. (just a guess)

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#43 ulterior epicure

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 09:42 AM

Thanks to everyone else on this forum.

I think I've concluded that the following is my best plan of attack:

Dinner: Tasting Room at Lola (note to self, get the salumi as an extra - will they let me do that in the Tasting Room?)
Dinner: Aurora or York Street
Dinner: Lanny's

Lunch:
Fearing's
Lunch: ??? (A Saturday in Fort Worth)
Brunch: La Duni (note to self: save room for cake)

Other: Doughmonkey

Any objections, votes, suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

Edited by ulterior epicure, 02 July 2008 - 09:43 AM.

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#44 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 10:10 AM

Yes to York Street. I should have mentioned it earlier. Sharon Hage is a highly respected chef here and has won a great deal of recognition beyond the DFW area. I attended a food and tea pairing dinner at York Street earlier this year and can recommend a meal there.

No seating at Dough Monkey, but if you have the time you might enjoy picking up a few of their very fine pastries and some coffee and going down the street to the Meadows Museum at SMU, sitting outside on the benches among the sculpture and sipping and tasting.

Lunch in Forth Worth: you might consider the Split Rail for barbecue or the restaurant at the Modern Museum of Forth Worth...food is probably okay, but many consider the architecture worth the visit. Others may have other and better suggestions.

#45 ulterior epicure

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 10:15 AM

Yes to York Street. I should have mentioned it earlier. Sharon Hage is a highly respected chef here and has won a great deal of recognition beyond the DFW area. I attended a food and tea pairing dinner at York Street earlier this year and can recommend a meal there.

Over Aurora?

By the way, how is Brix in Ft. Worth?

Edited by ulterior epicure, 02 July 2008 - 10:15 AM.

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#46 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 10:34 AM

Yes to York Street. I should have mentioned it earlier. Sharon Hage is a highly respected chef here and has won a great deal of recognition beyond the DFW area. I attended a food and tea pairing dinner at York Street earlier this year and can recommend a meal there.

Over Aurora?

By the way, how is Brix in Ft. Worth?

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I have not eaten at Aurora, so I can't make a comparison.

#47 Kevin72

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 10:49 AM

I strongly recommend making some room for Stephen Pyles. Our dinner there a couple months ago was one of the very best we've had in DFW in a very long time. Even if you don't do a full dinner, go for a great housemade cocktail and a sample of one of their ceviches. Plus it's also a very unique style and approach to food that you may not see elsewhere.


I've never had experience with Fearing's food, I think his old haunt the Mansion on Turtle creek has done and exceptional job of crafting a new identity for themselves after he left. The service is the best I've ever experienced (though I haven't had a depth of experience with 4 star places) anywhere. The food is maybe a pace behind service if you order from the menu though there seems to be a noticeable jump in offerings if you do one of their chef's tastings. It is steep, however. They have a bar menu as well that offers different choices from the restaurant (foie gras sliders?!) so that might be a nice candidate for lunch and then a leisurely afternoon on their patio.

ETA: I'd lock up Tasting Room reservations pretty quick. And I'm sure they'd be happy to sub in salumi at your request for one of the apps, or charge a supplemental or whatever. But they are so proud of their salumi I have a hard time believing you won't encounter it at some point in your meal. In fact I've done tasting room once and the main dining room twice and all three meals had a salumi component in one course or another.

Sorry, UE, I know this didn't help your scheduling much to throw those curveballs in there. :wacko:

ETA2: And I just remembered you don't drink, do you? Apologies.

Edited by Kevin72, 02 July 2008 - 11:04 AM.


#48 Chris Amirault

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:28 PM

Took a while to clarify -- sorry for the delay!

I think that I'll be taking my teachers out to dinner on Wednesday night. I'd love to have a Tex, Mex, or any combination place relatively nearby. (Lots of Central American places in RI, but most Mexican is crap and there's no Tex nothing nohow.) We'd be no more than four people and probably flexible in terms of time. Near public transportation (or the convention center itself) would be ideal.
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#49 nocturnalsunshine

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:53 PM

I havent been to this site in a WHILE but

I will say for Mexican Place I cant reccomend this one enough
Urban Taco

Urban Taco
5331 E Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, TX 75206
Phone: 214-823-4723


It is next to the Mockingbird Train station and DART takes you right to it.

Tacos are more expensive than Taco bell, but are 110% worth it.

Meat is flavored all the way through and super delicious. The head chef knows his stuff and makes a simple plate of three tacos a tour of taste through the streets of Mexico.

And freshly made Churros cannot be beat.

The location is great and lots of shops and people watching make it fantastic too.

#50 Chris Amirault

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 02:06 PM

Anyone else want to weigh in on Urban Tacos? It's on the DART and thus easy access from our hotel. Do they take reservations on weeknights?
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#51 jsmeeker

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 02:46 PM

Anyone else want to weigh in on Urban Tacos? It's on the DART and thus easy access from our hotel. Do they take reservations on weeknights?

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I haven't been there. I wonder if it's a newish place? I used to go to Mockingbird Station regularly to get my haircut.. But my stylist moved to a different location, so I don't make it there anymore..


I guess you could call and ask to see if they take resos.

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#52 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 04:14 PM

Here's a Bill Addison review of Urban Taco from August of 2007.

Mr. Addison enjoyed most of the offerings, liked the hippster environment and the prices, but found the fast-casual service pushy. It's been over a year, so YMMV.

From the review:

"Fernando Huerta, formerly a sous-chef at Stephan Pyles, craftily specializes in several proteins (and one astute vegetable combination) that could be insinuated into several styles of dishes: chicken tinga, barbacoa, red snapper and a trio of poblano, potato and zucchini. The Dos Equis amber pot roast barbacoa leads the horde. A coffee-and-cream-colored snarl of ragged beef interwoven with equal notes of sweet and pleasant bitterness from its beer braise, it melds equally well tucked into a masa empanada, splayed in a tuft over a corn tortilla or spread between crusty telera bread in a warm torta."

#53 Chris Amirault

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 09:41 PM

Went to Urban Taco tonight and had some very good to excellent food.

We started with good chips, excellent, simple guacamole and a quartet of salsas; the tomatillo serrano verde and habañero/roasted peanut sauces were both outstanding. We all stuck to the taco trios for dinner, and I went for the basics. I thought that the carnitas taco was a bit too sweet, but it, like all the other meats, was perfectly cooked and very moist. The pastor and barbacoa were both excellent, tucked into swell fresh tortillas (Maseca harina, I think) with minimal additional fanfare. That's how I'd want it: the chef is letting the quality meat shine without too much distracting adornment.

Sides were fine, unremarkable. The beans were pureed, which was a bit odd, though they were tasty. the The drinks, sadly, were mediocre: fresh ingredients but poorly balanced and, for the most part, far too sweet. I had to ask for an extra shot in my Paloma Cocktail.

The service was impeccable, particularly for such an informal setting.

If I lived in Dallas, I'd eat here regularly.
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#54 Chris Amirault

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 11:27 AM

Had to do some errands during the day and found myself back at Urban Taco for lunch. I've just polished off one shrimp arbol and one chicken mole taco, both great though the mole was a standout. I also had to get more of those peanut habanero and tomatillo serrano salsas, so I got chips (and the pepito "pesto," very good but not in the league of the others) to eat with those.

This place is great.
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#55 jsmeeker

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 03:00 PM

while out and about, spending more money because of other topics here in eGullet forums, I swung by Urban Taco for a mid-afternoon snack.

Man.. You were right, Chris. This is some really good stuff. I had a cup (really, a decent sized bowl) of the tortilla soup. It had pazole in it, too. Never had tortilla soup with that before, but it was good. Very flavorful soup.

I also ordered two tacos. I wasn't super hungry and will be going out to dinner at 7:00 with friends, so I didn't want to load up. Ordered the barbacoa and the al pastor. The barbacoa was excellent. The al partor was very good as well. All the toppings were spot on. tasty. nicely diced. Nothing gringo at all about these tacos. No cheese. no lettuce. It's like tacos should be. The tortillas were good, too. The menu claimed they were made from fresh masa. I don't have much experience comparing tortillas side by side, but these were pretty damn good.

Everything washed down with a glass of Dos Equis.

Clearly, there are people in the kitchen that know what they are doing. I will certainly be returning. Next time, I will check out their tortas.

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#56 bmdaniel

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 03:56 PM

while out and about, spending more money because of other topics here in eGullet forums, I swung by Urban Taco for a mid-afternoon snack.

Man.. You were right, Chris. This is some really good stuff.  I had a cup (really, a decent sized bowl) of the tortilla soup.  It had pazole in it, too.  Never had tortilla soup with that before, but it was good. Very flavorful soup.

I also ordered two tacos. I wasn't super hungry and will be going out to dinner at 7:00 with friends, so I didn't want to load up.  Ordered the barbacoa and the al pastor.  The barbacoa was excellent.  The al partor was very good as well. All the toppings were spot on.  tasty.  nicely diced.  Nothing gringo at all about these tacos. No cheese. no lettuce.  It's like tacos should be.    The tortillas were good, too. The menu claimed they were made from fresh masa.  I don't have much experience comparing tortillas side by side, but these were pretty damn good.

Everything washed down with a glass of Dos Equis.

Clearly, there are people in the kitchen that know what they are doing.  I will certainly be returning.  Next time,  I will check out their tortas.

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I went by last Thursday and was equally impressed (tried the barbacoa, al pastor, and mole tacos). I think I'm gonna swing by again tonight.

#57 Chris Hennes

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 02:34 PM

I'll be back in Dallas (well, Grapevine...) at the end of May. I've got rez at The Mansion at Turtle Creek one night, which will consume the bulk of that week's dining budget. I ate at Mia's last time I was in town and it was great, but I am also looking for some more different inexpensive places to check out. Any genre is fine. Suggestions?

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#58 joiei

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:36 PM

I'll be back in Dallas (well, Grapevine...) at the end of May. I've got rez at The Mansion at Turtle Creek one night, which will consume the bulk of that week's dining budget. I ate at Mia's last time I was in town and it was great, but I am also looking for some more different inexpensive places to check out. Any genre is fine. Suggestions?

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Go to W Jefferson in Oak Cliff section of Dallas and try La Palapa Veracruzana. Very good Vera Cruz style seafood. If your into Mexican that would be a perfect place for a taco crawl. Also, the Bishop arts district is very close by with several interesting restaurants.
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#59 Kevin72

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:02 AM

Not to rain on the Mansion or anything Chris, but it is currently between exec chefs: Tesar left and moved to NY. So you may want to consider other places that aren't in transition right now. Stephan Pyles would be top of my list. Or Lola, still. Lots to like about York St. Since you're in Grapevine though and just as close to Ft. Worth you may also consider Lanny's.

#60 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:11 AM

Not to rain on the Mansion or anything Chris, but it is currently between exec chefs: Tesar left and moved to NY. So you may want to consider other places that aren't in transition right now.  Stephan Pyles would be top of my list.  Or Lola, still.  Lots to like about York St.  Since you're in Grapevine though and just as close to Ft. Worth you may also consider Lanny's.

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I agree. And all fine suggestions.